- Hyperthyroidism Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Thyroid Disorder Quiz
- Thyroid Symptoms and Solutions Slideshow Pictures
- What is liothyronine sodium, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for liothyronine sodium?
- Is liothyronine sodium available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for liothyronine sodium?
- What are the side effects of liothyronine sodium?
- What is the dosage for liothyronine sodium?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with liothyronine sodium?
- Is liothyronine sodium safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about liothyronine sodium?
What is liothyronine sodium, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Liothyronine sodium is a synthetic (man-made) version of one of the two hormones made by the thyroid gland, triiodothyronine. It is used for treating individuals who are hypothyroid (do not produce enough thyroid hormones). Thyroid hormones increase the metabolism (activity) of all cells in the body. In the fetus, newborn infant and child, thyroid hormones promote growth and development of tissues. In adults, thyroid hormones help to maintain the function of the brain, the use of food by the body, and body temperature. The FDA approved liothyronine in May 1956.
What are the side effects of liothyronine sodium?
Liothyronine therapy generally is well-tolerated. If symptoms occur, they usually occur because there are toxic (too high) levels of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- chest pain,
- increased heart rate,
- excessive sweating,
- heat intolerance,
- weight loss,
- fever, and,
- rarely, cardiac arrest.
Women also may experience irregular menstrual cycles.
Since thyroid hormone affects heart rate and metabolism, the impact of treatment of thyroid hormone on the control of diseases such as atrial fibrillation, diabetes and high cholesterol levels always should be considered.
What is the dosage for liothyronine sodium?
The usual starting dose of liothyronine for treating hypothyroidism is 5 to 25 mcg per day. The dose then is adjusted based on the patient's response and the blood levels of thyroid hormone. Optimal liothyronine doses are different for each patient and vary depending on the patient's age, weight, symptoms, blood levels of thyroid hormone and underlying conditions such as heart disease. Individuals who are hypothyroid will require thyroid hormone for life.
Which drugs or supplements interact with liothyronine sodium?
Thyroid hormone affects the body's handling of many drugs. Generally, hypothyroidism (decreased concentration of thyroid hormone) reduces the effects of the body on drugs (metabolism of drugs) while hyperthyroidism (increased concentration of thyroid hormone) increases the effects. Therefore, individuals who are hypothyroid will eliminate drugs more slowly, and those with hyperthyroidism will eliminate drugs faster compared with individuals with normal levels of thyroid hormone.
This principle also applies to the metabolism of drugs that must be metabolized (changed) by the body into their active forms in order to have an effect. Therefore, liothyronine and other thyroid hormones may change the action of many drugs. The elimination of theophylline (Theo-Dur) and similar drugs increases as the dose of thyroid hormone increases. Individuals who are hypothyroid have slower theophylline elimination. Therefore, when the concentration of thyroid hormone is returned to normal with liothyronine, the elimination of theophylline is increased. This reduces the concentration of theophylline in the body and can reduce the effectiveness of theophylline. Patients who are treated for thyroid conditions and who are taking theophylline should have their blood concentration of theophylline monitored, and doses of theophylline should be adjusted as necessary.
Cholestyramine (Questran) binds liothyronine and other thyroid in hormones in the intestine, reducing the absorption and levels of liothyronine. Thyroid hormones should not be administered for 4 to 5 hours after administering cholestyramine.
The administration of liothyronine increases the action of the blood thinning drug, warfarin (Coumadin). Warfarin acts by reducing the concentration of factors in the body that are necessary for blood to clot. The concentration of these clotting factors in the body is determined by the body's rate of metabolism. In theory, by increasing the body's metabolism (elimination) of these clotting factors, thyroid hormones reduce the body's ability to clot and therefore enhance the effects of warfarin. Since this can lead to excessive bleeding, the dose of warfarin may need to be reduced.
Is liothyronine sodium safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Thyroid hormones do not easily cross the placenta and, therefore, are safe for pregnant women to take.
Very small amounts of thyroid hormone may be excreted in breast milk. This is not a serious problem for breastfed infants.
What else should I know about liothyronine sodium?
What preparations of liothyronine sodium are available?
Tablets: 5, 25, and 50 mcg. Injection: 10 mcg/ml
How should I keep liothyronine sodium stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature 20 C - 25 C (68 F - 77 F) and the injectable preparation between 2 C - 8 C (36 F - 46 F )
liothyronine sodium (Cytomel, Triostat) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of hypothyroidism in adults and children. Side effects, dosage, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
Hypothyroidism (Symptoms, Diet, Natural and Medical Treatments, Tests)
Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone...
Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy
Hypothyroidism during pregnancy can be treated with synthetic thyroid hormones to maintain the proper thyroid hormone balance....
Thyroid nodules are the most common endocrine problem in the United States. The term "thyroid nodule" refers to any abnormal...
There are several types of thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules, and thyroid...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy - Tricks of the Trade
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top liothyronine sodium Related Articles
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone production is controlled by the brain by the pituitary gland. Hypothyroidism is a very common condition and the symptoms of hypothyroidism are often subtle, but may include, constipation, memory loss, hair loss, and depression. There are a variety of causes of hypothyroidism, and treatment depends on the cause.
Hypothyroidism During PregnancyHypothyroidism during pregnancy can be treated with synthetic thyroid hormones to maintain the proper thyroid hormone balance. Hypothyroidism symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, lethargy, and constipation. Treatment of hypothyroidism in pregnant women is important, because inadequate levels of thyroid hormones may affect the fetus, and child during growth and development.
levothyroxine sodiumLevothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Unithroid, Tirosint, Levo-T) is a synthetic version of the principle thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4), which is made and released by the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormone increases the metabolic rate of cells of all tissues in the body. It is prescribed to treat hypothyroidism and to suppress thyroid hormone release in the management of cancerous thyroid nodules and growth of goiters. It is important to be aware of drug interactions, as well as common side effects on the user.
Thyroid Blood TestsThyroid blood tests determine the adequacy of the levels of thyroid hormones in in a patient. The blood tests can determine if the thyroid gland's hormone production is normal, overactive , or underactive. The level of thyroid hormones may help to diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The test may also point to other diseases of conditions of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid DisordersThere are several types of thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer. Symptoms vary by condition. Diagnosis is made with blood tests, scans, ultrasound, or biopsy. Treatments depend on the disorder and can include medication or surgery.
Thyroid NodulesThyroid nodules are the most common endocrine problem in the United States. The term "thyroid nodule" refers to any abnormal growth that forms a lump in the thyroid gland. The vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign.
Illustrations of ThyroidThe thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck just below the Adams apple. See a picture of the Thyroid and learn more about the health topic.
thyroid replacement-oralThyroid replacement hormones are prescription drugs prescribed to treat hypothyroidism. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.